I’ve been putting off writing the review for “The Favourite” for almost two weeks because I can’t wrap my head around it. I mean to say I don’t know if I loved it or not. Acting-wise, I can’t fault it, I loved it, but the story structure, the direction and editing was weird. Let’s discuss.
First of all, let’s state the obvious good things about it. The acting was perfect, from beginning to end. I especially loved Olivia Colman’s performance of a troubled, imperfect queen who is hard to handle, but easy to love & care for. She hit all the right notes and it made you sympathize with her (or pity her, considering the games the other ladies were playing). She definitely deserves the Oscar and I really, really hope she gets it. I also enjoyed the performances of Nicholas Hault, Joe Alwyn (although slightly underused) and Mark Gattis.
But the two stars were Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. Before going in, I was expecting to love Rachel more than Emma, but it ended up being the opposite. That doesn’t mean Weisz didn’t deliver, because she definitely did. I still remember one of her last scenes with the queen where she talks about what true love really is (being able to say the good and especially the bad about the other person, and love her either way). Her portrayal of the smart, tough and ruthless Lady Sarah was amazing and it played perfectly with the other two characters. One of which was the surprisingly cunning Emma Stone.
I am one of the those who scratched her head when she won the Oscar for La La Land. The movie was good and she did a fine job, but was is Oscar worthy? Not really. This performance, in “The Favourite”, however, was pretty amazing and I was very impressed. Wicked, deliberate and willing to go extreme ways (ahem, bed scene) to get what she wants, Emma Stone’s character steps on people and even the fate of the country to get there. She played her part to the T and I also loved her interaction with the other two women. Overall, a fantastic trio.
Now, besides that, the movie had a lot of WTF moments: the man and the blood oranges, the ducks, the dances and so on. At times it felt like a parody of sorts. Was it meant to be funny? Was the exaggeration a key part of the storyline or was it just for fun / to attract attention? It was weird. And yes, I heard it’s a Yorgos Lanthimos quirk, but it felt a bit unnatural or unusual. I think those moments threw me off and made me reconsider the movie. If it had had a normal structure and direction / editing, I think I would have loved it. That being said, in some aspects, these quirks worked in its favor (but too few).
The ending was also surprisingly dull and uneventful, although it made its point of showcasing the idea of “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it”. [SPOILER] Queen Anne chose the wrong person, and Abigail has to continue serving the queen if she wants to still be in its favor. [END SPOILER]
Did I love “The Favourite”? Not exactly. Did I hate it? No, definitely not. Would I have loved it without the WTF moments and the ending? Probably. Will I still root for it and want the women to receive appreciation? Absolutely. Should you watch it? Hmm…yes, you should. It’s not a bad movie.